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31 Quick Dinners for Your October Meal Plan

Wondering what to make for dinner this month? Our easy meal plan has you covered. Each recipe is ready in 30 minutes (or less)!

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Day 1: Cranberry Maple Chicken

Day 1: Cranberry Maple Chicken

Cranberries and a hint of maple syrup make a sweet sauce for these easy chicken breast halves. They’re a quick but lovely main course for weeknights and other occasions. –Kim Pettipas of Oromocto, New Brunswick

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Day 2: Breaded Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Day 2: Breaded Pork Chops

These traditional pork chops have a wonderful home-cooked flavor like the ones Mom used to make. The breading makes them crispy outside and tender and juicy inside. Why not treat your family to some breaded pork chops tonight? —Deborah Amrine, Grand Haven, Michigan

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Day 3: So-Easy Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Day 3: So-Easy Sloppy Joes

Everybody in the family will love the zesty, fun flavor of this simple staple. Try it spooned over warmed cornbread if you don’t have buns. —Karen Anderson, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

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Day 4: Pumpkin Sausage SoupTaste of Home

Day 4: Pumpkin Sausage Soup

This dish is well suited to my lower-carb way of eating. It's definitely soul food, and I love that it's very simple to prepare. —Paula Diaz, Billings, Montana

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Day 5: Chicken Parmesan With Spaghetti SquashTaste of Home

Day 5: Chicken Parmesan With Spaghetti Squash

I grow spaghetti squash and herbs in my garden every year, so this recipe is the perfect way to use them up. —Kristina Krummel, Elkins, Arkansas

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Day 6: Apple ‘n’ Prosciutto SandwichesTaste of Home

Day 6: Apple ‘n’ Prosciutto Sandwiches

Prepared on an indoor grill, this apple prosciutto sandwich are spread with homemade rosemary pesto. They’re wonderful on a cool day with a bowl of butternut squash soup. —Elizabeth Bennett, Mill Creek, Washington

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Day 7: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

Day 7: Easy Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

The already prepared meatballs make this a very easy and quick supper. You can use your own homemade meatballs or store-bought if you're in a pinch. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington

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Day 8: Chili-ghettiTaste of Home

Day 8: Chili-ghetti

I came up with this recipe when unexpected guests stopped by and I didn't have enough chili to go around. The spur-of-the-moment main dish is now a family favorite. —Cindy Cuykendall, Skaneateles, New York

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Day 9: Spicy Chicken and Bacon Mac

Day 9: Spicy Chicken and Bacon Mac

I've been working to perfect a creamy, spicy mac and cheese for years. After adding smoky bacon, chicken, jalapenos and spicy cheese, this is the ultimate! I use rotisserie chicken and precooked bacon when I'm pressed for time. —Sarah Gilbert, Aloha, Oregon

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Day 10: Lemon-Batter FishTaste of Home

Day 10: Lemon-Batter Fish

My husband ranks this battered, fried fish recipe as one of his favorites. A lot of fishing takes place in our area, which makes this a good choice for a regional recipe. —Jackie Hannahs, Cedar Springs, Michigan

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Day 11: Quick Beef Vegetable SoupTaste of Home

Day 11: Quick Beef Vegetable Soup

At the end of a long day, you want to put something quick, warm and substantial on the table for your family. This hefty vegetable soup delivers. It will have you out of the kitchen in no time flat! —D.M. Hillock, Hartford, Michigan

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Day 12: Chicken and Broccoli with Dill SauceTaste of Home

Day 12: Chicken and Broccoli with Dill Sauce

I've had this chicken and broccoli recipe for so many years, I don't remember when I first made it. Serve it with a side of couscous or rice for a complete meal, or add some sliced mushrooms or carrots for extra veggies. —Kallee Krong-Mccreery, Escondido, California

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Day 13: Italian-Style PizzasTaste of Home

Day 13: Italian-Style Pizzas

With prepared pesto and pizza crusts, this recipe comes together in a flash. It makes two, and we love that we each get our own Italian style pizza! I like to complete the meal with a salad and fresh fruit. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Day 14: Sausage and SauerkrautTaste of Home

Day 14: Sausage and Sauerkraut

I created this tasty quick-and-easy sauerkraut and sausage dish so I can throw it together in no time on those extra-busy nights. — Mary Lyon, Spotsylvania, Virginia

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Day 15: Apple & Spice Pork TenderloinTaste of Home

Day 15: Apple & Spice Pork Tenderloin

My family loves pork tenderloin, so I created this hearty meal. This slightly sweet preparation is one of our favorites. It's also an impressive dish for company.—Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota.

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Day 16: Bistro Apple PaniniTaste of Home

Day 16: Bistro Apple Panini

My family loves panini press recipes. The bacon, apple and tarragon in this recipe go together so well. If you don’t have a panini maker or an indoor grill, you can easily pan-fry or broil these excellent sandwiches.—Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Day 17: Lemon Mushroom ChickenTaste of Home

Day 17: Lemon Mushroom Chicken

There's a lot of flavor in this dish. The best part? It doesn't seem light at all! —Carrie Palmquist, Canova, South Dakota

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Day 18: Creamy Pumpkin TortelliniTaste of Home

Day 18: Creamy Pumpkin Tortellini

My kids love the creamy, rich sauce on these tortellinis so much but they don't even know pumpkin is inside. Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best, nutty and delicious flavor. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Day 19: Pork with Mustard SauceTaste of Home

Day 19: Pork with Mustard Sauce

Back when I was a girl, I couldn't wait until I was grown up and could start cooking for my own family! Now that I am, I really enjoy using pork. The tender meat and the rich mustard sauce in this recipe are delectable together. —Irma Pomeroy, Enfield, Connecticut

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Day 20: Italian Beef and ShellsTaste of Home

Day 20: Italian Beef and Shells

A veggie and pasta combo makes a hearty entree that comes together easily. Wine lends an extra touch of flavor to the sauce and makes this main dish a winner. —Mike Tchou, Pepper Pike, Ohio

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Day 21: Easy Beef StroganoffTaste of Home

Day 21: Easy Beef Stroganoff

I wanted to lighten up my mother-in-law's wonderful stroganoff recipe and came up with this tasty spin. In our home, we call my easy beef stroganoff "special noodles." —Jennifer Riordan, St. Louis, Missouri

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Day 22: Bavarian Apple-Sausage HashTaste of Home

Day 22: Bavarian Apple-Sausage Hash

This awesome recipe reflects my German roots. In the cooler months, nothing is as comforting as a hearty hash. Serve this versatile recipe as a side dish at a holiday meal or as a brunch entree over cheddar grits or topped with a fried egg. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO

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Day 23: Beef ‘n’ Biscuit BakeTaste of Home

Day 23: Beef ‘n’ Biscuit Bake

This recipe is quick, easy and satisfying. With its beef and corn combo, it's cozy cuisine at its best! —Erin Schneider, St. Peters, Missouri

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Day 24: Orzo Shrimp Stew

My husband and I really enjoy seafood, so I don’t skimp on shrimp in this mildly seasoned stew. We also adore the broccoli, tomatoes and pasta. —Lisa Stinger, Hamilton, New Jersey

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Day 25: Turkey Sausage with PastaTaste of Home

Day 25: Turkey Sausage with Pasta

If you're looking for recipes with turkey sausage, stop here. This has the perfect blend of meaty, veggie and cheesy goodness. You'll be craving what's good for you when this pasta dish is on the menu. —Mary Tallman, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin

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Day 26: Spicy Chicken Stew

Day 26: Spicy Chicken Stew

When you're craving cozy Mexican flavors, try this spicy chicken and chickpea stew. It couldn't be easier to make—just round out the meal with a fresh tossed salad. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Day 27: Zippy Sweet-and-Sour Meat LoafTaste of Home

Day 27: Zippy Sweet-and-Sour Meat Loaf

Put this zippy twist on your meatloaf dinner. It is a sweet and sour taste which will delight your family. They will be requesting all the time.—Deb Thompson, Lincoln, Nebraska

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Day 28: Bacon Cheeseburger RiceTaste of Home

Day 28: Bacon Cheeseburger Rice

My husband and I thought the original skillet dish lacked pizzazz, so we created this tastier version. I've had teenage nieces and nephews request the recipe after their first bite. —Joyce Whipps, West Des Moines, Iowa

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Day 29: Tortellini with Tomato Spinach Cream SauceTaste of Home

Day 29: Tortellini with Tomato Spinach Cream Sauce

I enjoy all things pasta, and tortellini is my favorite. The flavor of this dish is amazing. Even my husband, who hates pasta of any kind, loves it! It's a great recipe for non-spinach fans to try, too. —Jenny Dubinsky, Inwood, West Virginia

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Day 30: 25-Minute Turkey ChiliTaste of Home

Day 30: 25-Minute Turkey Chili

This recipe for turkey chili is a nice change of pace from traditional beef dishes, offering a whole different set of flavors to enjoy. I like to serve cheddar cheese bread on the side. You can also serve the chili over rice. —Traci K Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania

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Day 31: Spooky JoesTaste of Home

Day 31: Spooky Joes

Dressing up an old favorite for the occasion, I made hearty Spooky Joes, served open-faced so everyone could see slices of cheese cut into Halloween shapes topping the beef. The sandwiches were accompanied by orange cheese curls and jack-o-lantern Jell-O jigglers.

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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